UNITED NATIONS (Oct. 20)
Israel’s credentials to the 38th General Assembly were approved today despite an attempt by Iran, backed by 42 other Third World and Arab states and the Soviet Union to suspend Israel from this year’s session of the world organization.
At the opening of the General Assembly’s meeting this morning, the Iranian Ambassador to the UN, Said Rajaie-Khorassani, introduced an amendment to the report of the Credentials Committee which recommended the approval of the credentials of some 120 delegations, including Israel’s.
Charging that Israel ignored UN resolutions and occupied Arab territories, the Iranian amendment read: “The General Assembly approves the first report of the Credentials Committee, except the credentials of Israel.”
NORWEGIAN AMENDMENT WINS
Norway, acting on behalf of the Scandinavian states, proposed that no action be taken on the Iranian amendment. Although the legality and validity of the Norwegian motion was challenged by Iran and other nations, it was approved by a vote of 79-43 with 19 abstentions. Egypt supported the Norwegian motion. The Lebanese delegation did not participate in the voting.
This was the second consecutive year that Iran attempted to block approval of Israel’s credentials in the General Assembly through an amendment to its Credentials Committee’s report. The Iranians were thwarted last year by a no-action motion introduced by Finland.
Before today’s Assembly session opened, the 42 countries backing the Iranian amendment circulated a letter to all delegations explaining their opposition to the approval of Israel’s credentials. The letter cited Israeli actions in the occupied Arab territories and its refusal to implement UN resolutions.
BLUM DENOUNCES ANTI-ISRAEL MOVE
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Yehuda Blum, circulated a letter of reply denouncing the letter of the 42 countries as a “crude … attempt” to abuse the credentials procedure for extraneous considerations and a manifestation of the “obsessive hatred” of certain states for Israel.
Only yesterday, the Reagan Administration warned the General Assembly that any attempt to deny Israel its right to participate as a member of the UN “would have grave consequences for our own continued participation and support” of the General Assembly.
Blum, addressing the General Assembly after the vote sustaining the Credentials Committee’s recommendations, said the assault on the UN by the “forces of bigotry and international gangsterism” has been thrown back again. He said the attack on Israel, led by Libya and Iran, was unfounded and the remarks of their delegates were “well worn cliches, “frivolous and ironic.
Blum said that if the criteria Israel’s enemies sought to apply to Israel were applied to all member states, most of the General Assembly’s seats would be empty. He added that the move to suspend Israel also violated the obligation of member states to use the UN to resolve their disputes.